Philip M. Backlund is originally from Northern California and received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Speech Communication from Humboldt State University, and his Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Denver. After teaching in California, Alaska, Colorado, and New York, he joined the faculty at Central Washington University in 1979. Over the past thirty-five years, he has taught courses in personal communication such as public speaking, intercultural communication, gender communication, relationship development, and persuasion primarily at Central Washington University.
His research interests are in culture, gender, education, and assessment. He is the co-author or co-editor of seven books in gender communication and educational assessment. He has published over thirty articles in journals such as Communication Education, Women and Language, Popular Measurement, Journal of the Northwest Communication Association, Language Arts, Reading Today, Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, and Alliance For Curriculum Reform. As a member of NCA, he has served as chair of the Instructional Development Division, chair of the Communication Assessment Division (3 times), chair of the Task Force on Program Review Guidelines, and the Educational Policies Board.
At CWU, he held a number of administrative positions in addition to teaching, including department chair, associate dean, Faculty Legislative Representative, Director of Legislative Relations, Director of Student Academic Services, and Director of Regional Accreditation. He has been honored three times by students as the outstanding faculty member of the year and by the Board of Trustees as the Presidential Faculty member of the Year. Over the past decade, he has taught communication skills in Hong Kong, to PhD students in Pakistan, teachers in South Sudan, and ran workshops in Tanzania. He enjoys travel and working toward better understanding between cultures. He is a member of the National Communication Association, the International Reading Association, and Rotary International.